sri lanka

March 3, 2008

I started my trip to Sri Lanka by staying a week at a yoga retreat in the jungle.  A yoga retreat with no electricity, no coffee, no hot water and no alcohol; not to mention separate “outhouses”.

And, dear reader, I was the only “guest” not text-messaging their nearest and dearest to tell them that I had arrived in Paradise.  Perhaps it was because I was the only American–and the British women may well have connected with their girl-guide pasts.  But that doesn’t explain the Norwegian spa owner, or the diving instructor from the Soneva Spa in the Maldives.

My only moment of ecstacy was my last day, when I went over to the Ayurvedic center (I had resisted the purging and the leeches) and stood in the stone enclosure and ladled hot water from the steel cauldron on the open fire into a bucket of cold water, and then poured it over my grime-coated body.  I want to remember this moment–and replicate it if I can in Mexico.

There have been some memorable moments–I stayed at a hotel that may just have been perfect–exquisitely designed, lovingly managed, charming in every way.  I find the practice of presenting scented water lilies to the Buddha statues lovely.  And I wonder why I never thought of unisex “tube” sarongs that never come untied.

I also managed to find a wonderful antique store in the middle of nowhere–well, I thought it was in the middle of nowhere, only to find in their guest book, that they had customers from Germany, France, Japan, Korea, Israel….unbelievable.

But the food is beyond awful–and I miss terribly the exquisite sense of artistry and design that have always found to be woven into the very fabric of life in India–the large neighbor across the water.